The good china.

I don’t know what it is with me and the Friday post these last few weeks. No excuse, but it seems the weekend errands and chores have been intruding into my Fridays. Not this week, with an official day off on Good Friday for maybe the first time in my whole career. I celebrated by meeting a friend for breakfast, then moving to another place for a single bloody mary.

It was Opening Day, after all. (The real O.D. was rained out.) It’s like a rule that if you live in the Metro Detroit area, you have to consume at least a little alcohol.

Then home to clean bathrooms, and ended up meeting Alan at the Schvitz, doing another of their great one-off events: Steam, followed by “Eastern Promises” upstairs. We skipped the steam, but the movie was great, and if you saw it, you know why it was selected for that venue, right? It features a fantastically blocked and staged knife fight in a steam bath, with a buck-naked Viggo Mortensen up against two Chechen mobsters. No one does movie violence quite like David Cronenberg.

All in all, not a bad Friday. Saturday was consumed with preparation for Sunday. We took lunch down to Defiance. I got out the beautiful cut-glass deviled-egg plate my sister gave me a while back for its annual appearance. I wondered if it was worth risking chips and potential breakage, then thought eh, go for it. We drag the good china around our lives, and hardly ever use it. My recent philosophy: Use it. Use the good china. Your children won’t care if it comes to them with a chip or three.

Back to work tomorrow. In the meantime, some links for you guys to enjoy. Or not enjoy. Although mostly enjoy:

I haven’t seen “The Death of Stalin” yet, but I’m a big fan of Armando Iannucci, so of course I read this piece about how to do political satire in, um, this fraught moment:

But reality has jumped the shark right now, and any attempt to present a fictional version of today’s events would never be as crazy as the real thing. The truth — in Washington, London or Moscow — is much more demented than fiction, signaling a full-on existential crisis for the comedy writer. No showrunner in his or her right mind would make their sitcom president urge his press secretary to go out on Day 1 of his administration and change the laws of math. If a hapless Sean Spicer character on a TV comedy had to spin photos showing a half-empty Mall into proof of the biggest inauguration crowd ever assembled, ever, period, President Trump would tweet that it was “unwatchable.”

Unwatchable comedy has come to Britain, too. Last year, Prime Minister Theresa May stood before her party conference and had a coughing fit while the letters in the slogan “Building a country that works for everyone” started falling off the screen behind her. If that had been presented to me as a script idea, I would have rejected it as too childish. It would have been a step up in maturity if the writers then suggested that the remaining letters should form the word “butt.”

Funny catch phrases from 40 comedies. Most of which aren’t that funny, and from movies I haven’t seen, so pfft.

If you haven’t seen this video yet, please watch. I’m torn between believing these people are whores, actors or victims. Right now I’m at “whores,” but that will change.

Let’s charge into the week ahead. APRIL.

Posted at 8:14 pm in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

78 responses to “The good china.”

  1. Deborah said on April 1, 2018 at 8:35 pm

    Hard to believe it’s the beginning of a new month. Onward!

    I’ve watched the first 2 episodes of Better Call Saul today, looking forward to getting to the end of it, can’t say I’m enjoying it except for the black and white beginnings in the Omaha mall.

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  2. Suzanne said on April 1, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    Watching Jesus Christ Superstar live. NBC, I think, has finally figured out that if you want to do live musical theater on tv, it’s a good idea to hire singer/actors that have musical theater experience. Norm Lewis playing Caiaphas is incredible. John Legend is doing a good job but I can’t get out of my head that he’s John Legend. Can hardly wait for Alice Cooper to show up as Herod. Could be amazing or could be cringworthy

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  3. Joe Kobiela said on April 1, 2018 at 9:55 pm

    Give Saul some time it gets better with each episode, we flew our plane up to Milwaukee today to visit our daughter, flew up the lake front at 3,000ft looked for your building and tried to wave to you as we went by.
    Pilot Joe

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  4. Suzanne said on April 1, 2018 at 10:01 pm

    Alice Cooper made a darn good Herod.

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  5. Jolene said on April 1, 2018 at 10:11 pm

    PBS and the NYT have formed a book club with a new book chosen each month, alternating between fiction and nonfiction. I just heard about it, so haven’t participated yet, but there are appealing features—online author interviews, Q&A sessions, and such.

    I mention it particularly because the April selection is a book about the Great Lakes, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan. The NYT published a lengthy review of it last year.

    To get a sense of some of what happens online, check out the book club’s Facebook page, Now Read This.

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  6. Jakash said on April 1, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    People on Twitter seem to think that “Superstar” was the best live musical thing that NBC’s done. I thought so. I haven’t seen any of the other ones, though. ; )

    I’m no critic, but John Legend actually seemed like the weak link to me, though he was okay, I guess. The guy that played Judas was awesome. Mary Magdalene was excellent, too. Wasn’t too wild about Pontius Pilate. Alice Cooper played Alice Cooper, as far as I could tell, which was fine, given his role. But I’m no critic! ; )

    The production was first-rate, and the staging of the scene on the cross was just spectacular. All in all, we enjoyed it a lot. Except for the commercials, which were, uh, frequent…

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  7. Dave said on April 2, 2018 at 12:40 am

    Better Call Saul’s fourth season isn’t coming until the fall. I’ve never seen Breaking Bad, so this prequel is all I have to go with, but Jimmy increasingly shows he’s not playing by the rules to make himself a well paid lawyer.

    Meanwhile, The Americans final season has started up on FX. I’ve been wondering how they’ll end it, with all the murders they’ve committed, as well as the spying, will they ever get caught?

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  8. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 12:42 am

    Some interesting things coming up on TV: Tomorrow (Monday) evening, HBO is showing an MLK documentary that focuses on the strains and conflicts of his last years. For more, see Hank Stuever’s review in the Washington Post.

    And next Saturday, HBO is showing a biopic re Joe Paterno starring Al Pacino and directed by Barry Levinson. This piece from Variety is more an article about the film rather than a review, but still interesting. More reviews will likely appear this week.

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  9. Scout said on April 2, 2018 at 2:14 am

    JC Superstar was the perfect mix of staying true to the original music while edgily updating the feel of it. The cross scene was stunning.

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  10. Dexter said on April 2, 2018 at 3:22 am

    The Notre Dame women appeared to be on the verge of losing-big to Mississippi State, trailing late by 17 in the Final Four Championship Game on espn. Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale kept missing layups and I thought she must be a diva, judging by her antics and screwed-up facials she exhibited…plus she kept mouthing “FUCK!” at herself, so disappointed was she at her inability to score on those easy shots. Then she got going, made a few shots, as the Irish closed the gap. Another Irish girl hit a couple 3-pointers, and it got close and then was tied. MS-State’s superstar center missed an easy shot near the end, ND came down and Arike Ogunbowale fired up a high-arching prayer—and bam, right through, for the national crown. Arike had just beaten UConn like that hours before. It was an amazing game. I recorder Jesus Christ, SS, mostly because I heard Alice interviewed about it.

    And honestly, I had never heard of Frank Stallone, who viciously attacked David Hogg on social media , calling him a pussy and other bad names, and calling him a spoiled rich white boy. And then Stallone began catching hell so he apologized. Hogg smells out phony apologies like hogs smell out truffles. Frank Stallone is a loser with a shitty career, if any, I guess…who just took a header into the hog-shit puddle.

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  11. BigHank53 said on April 2, 2018 at 5:37 am

    Ah, the Sinclair talking heads video…I have a story about that.

    I grew up in a sheltered media environment, watching the TV stations broadcasting from Boston. I didn’t know it at the time, but Boston was (and maybe still is) the third largest media market in the country behind New York and Los Angeles. The production values on WCVB were indistinguishable from the national news broadcast, and the newscasters (Chet and Natalie) were in those seats for decades.

    Then in 1990 I took a very slow cross-country trip, and wound up staying in a lot of hotels with time to kill, and seeing more than a few local newscasts. The low point was watching an Indianapolis station send a live remote crew out to try and get a shot of Mike Tyson’s limo as it shuttled him from the airport to his hotel when he arrived in town for his rape trial. How was that in any way a form of news? They didn’t even get the shot, either, so the cutaway to the field reporter just made everyone look stupid.

    There are several requirements if you want to be a newscaster. Intelligence isn’t particularly high on the list, and quite frankly anyone who’s got a committment to the truth or a desire to inform the public is fundamentally unsuited to the task of keeping the vanishing attention spans of unhealthy shut-ins glued to the screen long enough to sell an ad for vinyl siding or pickup trucks. It’s a huckster job, and I suppose huckster isn’t that far from whore.

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  12. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2018 at 6:50 am

    Alice was the rug that brought the room together. Lots of standout performances, but they’d better get Emmys for lighting and set design, too.

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  13. Linda said on April 2, 2018 at 7:12 am

    Phhht, indeed. They skipped the most repeated and funniest catchphrase from the Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think you know what that word means.”

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  14. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2018 at 7:24 am

    No Emmys for sound design, though. We kept tweaking the mix on our end, and it seemed like they tweaked it on theirs, but, honestly, this is what you have rehearsals for. The crowd enthusiasm was fantastic and clearly gave the performers energy; they just needed to turn the crowd mics way down.

    And the commercials almost made me wish we waited to watch it on Hulu the next day instead of live, but I quibble, because I loved this interpretation.

    Victor Brandon Dixon, late of Hamilton, now has a lock on the conflicted villain role. Cooper brought it, though I wondered if he was wearing a back brace that restricted movement, or just has some bad arthritis. John Legend was indeed the weak link, as I feared. His voice is amazing; his acting skills not so much.

    And can we talk about Norm Lewis as Caiaphas? Like Judas, he’s a Broadway stalwart, who was the first black Phantom. The voice! The presence!

    When Godspell and Superstar came out my friends and I listened to them until the grooves wore out. I still play them every year on Good Friday, and they hold deep meaning for me. What a thrill that they mostly got it right.

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  15. Dorothy said on April 2, 2018 at 8:05 am

    I recorded JCS because I wanted to hear reviews before I watched it. I’m hearing raves across the board so I’ll enjoy it soon, and zoom through the commercials to save lots of time

    Deborah I hope you stick with Saul. It’s really absorbing. The relationship with his brother is so intense, and to watch this character devolve is fascinating. He’s his own worst enemy. There was an episode with Jonathan Banks casing a house, and I fell in love with the song that was playing during the scene. I wound up buying the Chris Joss cd so I could own a copy. Maybe you’ll be motivated to watch Breaking Bad, another amazing show, if you get into Saul more deeply. I can’t recommend either show enough.

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  16. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Whoops, that’s Brandon Victor Dixon, not Victor Brandon. And I’ll be buying the Superstar CD for sure.

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  17. Suzanne said on April 2, 2018 at 8:55 am

    I can’t say enough about Norm Lewis in Superstar. He was incredible, just incredible. John Legend, I agree, was the weak link, although not awful. He’s too well known so I couldn’t past his face and voice and get into the character he was playing.
    All in all, though, well done. I even was impressed with the ending which I knew didn’t include the resurrection, but the bright light at the end I thought covered that, too.

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  18. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I watched all of Breaking Bad and I enjoyed seasons 1 and 2 of Better Call Saul, I just started watching season 3 on Netflix. I just got tired of watching Banks scoping out the bad guys from his car and Jimmy being a jerk. But I love the black and white preludes, have liked them from the beginning. They so far show how crime does not pay.

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  19. nancy said on April 2, 2018 at 9:07 am

    BigHank, if you think Indy was bad, consider it’s a top-50 market (33 or 34, around there). Now put yourself in Fort Wayne (#110) and imagine how much worse it is. I’ve told the “oil-eating micro-bees” story here a time or two.

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  20. Deggjr said on April 2, 2018 at 11:10 am

    I thought the JCS performance was great! I was in high school when the music first came out but I don’t think I’ve ever seen JCS before. Some of the music was familiar so it must have gotten top 40 play.

    I thought John Legend had the ‘lamb led to slaughter’ demeanor down. (I have nothing to compare his performance to.) What do people think was missing?

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  21. Connie said on April 2, 2018 at 11:25 am

    I have seen JCS twice, first in high school, then a few years ago a Holland area mega church did a punk stage production starring my brother as the High Priest Caiaphas. As brother John, a long time local musical performer, always says, if you sing bass you are always the bad guy.

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  22. Dorothy said on April 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

    deggjr – I do community theater so I have lots of friends on Facebook from the four or five cities where I’ve acted. Most of my theater pals are saying John Legend sure can sing, but he’s not much of an actor. Not having seen the show myself I can’t proffer an opinion though.

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  23. Bitter Scribe said on April 2, 2018 at 11:56 am

    As I read that Sinclair Broadcasting statement, I thought, everything here applies to Fox News.

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  24. Suzanne said on April 2, 2018 at 11:59 am

    And the market is tanking once again…

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  25. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2018 at 12:02 pm

    I’ve seen the show in person a half dozen times or so, and I’d say Legend’s main failing was his single style of emoting. Single, not singular. He tried opening his mouth and eyes wide and dipping his chin to express how he was feeling, and it didn’t work. I didn’t feel his rage when he was cleansing the temple, and I didn’t feel his anguish and anger in I Only Want to Say.

    But his singing was good. A couple of times he skipped the high notes and I’m sure we’ll get those on the recording. From its beginning as a concept album, Superstar has always been more of a work to listen to than to see on stage.

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  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    The entirely unfair comparison (because it’s unmatchable in so many ways, a thing unto itself) is to Ted Neeley in the ’73 filmed version; Legend was doing a different take, and they all did a fine job, Sara Bareilles perhaps the most impressive to me in taking an iconic role and inhabiting it in a different but perfectly fit way.

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  27. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    The classic number, smacked out of the park with bases loaded last night:

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  28. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    Nancy, my two comments (@5 and @8) say that they are awaiting moderation. I wouldn’t mention it, but I see that you have commented here many hours after those comments were posted. What is the rule that sends comments to moderation? I thought that, if you had posted previously and included no more than two links in a comment, your post would appear automatically.

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    • nancy said on April 2, 2018 at 1:04 pm

      Hey, Jolene. I have nothing in my moderation queue, and both comments have been posted. Dunno what’s going on, but you’re cool.

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  29. Jim G said on April 2, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    “Democracy Dies in Darkness”…so, here, have a listicle!

    The WaPo has had a few too many of those sort of things lately. They’re easy to churn out, especially if you don’t have to say much about each item in the list. But lordy, they’re lazy.

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  30. jcburns said on April 2, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Jolene, I approved the comments, but I also had to edit all of the links inside—you had some extra smart quote marks (the result perhaps of hurried cutting and pasting) jammed inside the things you linked to, which amount to bogus URL characters, which probably set Akismet’s filters off.

    Computers, they’re dad-blamed particular sometimes.

    [on edit: Hi Nancy!]

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  31. Bitter Scribe said on April 2, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    There is an absolutely delicious twist to the Sinclair propaganda story. As I said in my comment at #23, everything in it applies to Fox News and conservative media generally.

    Well, apparently InfoWars and Jim Hoft, aka the Stupidest Man on the Internet™, fumbled reporting this to the point where their audience somehow got it into their heads that this was a George Soros-directed slam at conservative media! They started tweeting stuff like “Brought to you by George Soros & the democratic party They studied Hitler mind control technique very well” (Lack of punctuation in original.) Even when more well-informed people tweeted who Sinclair is and what their intent was, they didn’t believe it.

    Read this account at Wonkette for a full explanation. As their delightful writer Robyn Pennachia says, “This is, perhaps, one of the most spectacular self-owns in the history of self-owns.”

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  32. Scout said on April 2, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    I liked John Legend, I thought he played the part quite appropriately considering at this point of his story Jesus knew and accepted his fate. I loved everything about this production, the sets, the costumes, the string musicians as part of the choreo and damn, that amazing cast. The only thing that could have been better was that the vocals could have been louder and the audience muted more. Otherwise, what a show, what a flashback to the 70’s when this album payed constantly at our house. My parents and I knew every word by heart.

    The Sinclair thing. Here is some useful info to know who is who in this latest debacle.

    On Edit: Thanks Bitter Scribe for that link! Wow, self-own is right!

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  33. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Thanks, Nancy and JC.

    My TV diet this past weekend didn’t include JCS (I have it on DVR and will watch, perhaps tonight.), but I did watch The Chi on Showtime. If you have a chance, check it out. It’s a combination family drama/crime story set on the South Side of Chicago. Many wonderful performances from this cast of new actors and experienced pros such as Sonja Sohn, whom we came to know on The Wire, and much to think about, especially in light of our renewed concerns about gun violence. I liked it well enough that I’m eager to see what happens to these wonderful characters and this community in the next season, which, unfortunately, won’t occur for months.

    Here is Hank’s review. Has anyone else seen it?

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  34. Jakash said on April 2, 2018 at 2:08 pm

    Julie R.,

    Yeah, Caiaphas was the real deal, too; I neglected to mention him.

    I’m glad you were watching and checked in here about “Superstar.” You’re such a big Broadway and theater fan, and I’ve often read your comments about “big stars” not being able to match the abilities of seasoned Broadway talent in productions like that, but I usually haven’t seen the shows, and have a hard time identifying with what you’re saying. I wondered what you might have been thinking as I was watching Legend’s performance last night. I’m spoiled, as we don’t watch a lot of run-of-the-mill TV, movies or shows — usually only things that are very well reviewed and are thus on a high level. I don’t see a lot of so-so acting in important roles. Watching last night, I thought: “Oh, this is what she’s been talking about. This is what it’s like to see somebody singing all the right words, and trying hard, but just not being much of an actor, while still ostensibly being “the star.”

    Since you mentioned the “cleansing in the temple” scene, I was actually laughing as he did that. “Gethsemane” might be my favorite song in the whole show and Ted Neeley just nailed it so brilliantly in the movie. I thought Legend stepped it up a bit at the end of the song, but was disappointed, overall. Jeff (tmmo) is right though, in that it would be hard for anything to come close to Neeley’s performance of that song.

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  35. Charlotte said on April 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    Matt Pearce has a copy of the Sinclair contract — it’s pretty grim. Newscasters who quit are liable for huge monetary penalties:

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  36. Jakash said on April 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Suzanne @ 17,

    “…but the bright light at the end I thought covered that, too.” Yes, I thought it was brilliant how, without adding anything to the text of the show, one could interpret the meaning of that light however one wanted to.

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  37. beb said on April 2, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    This morning (Monday) I read a article about the Sinclair propaganda push that mentioned that some station’s talent couldn’t afford to quit because their contracts have really harsh clawbacks for quitters. Mentioned one staffer saying it would cost him $6-8000 in clawbacks if he quit. I thought Fox News was evil but Sinclair seems to be evil+.

    And here’s the link

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  38. Julie Robinson said on April 2, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Jackash, I’m with you on not watching much regular TV; Colbert is about it. I pretty much stick to British stuff. But I’m a sucker for live theatre on TV, and I want it to be good because I want everyone to experience its power. They feel they have to cast big names like John Legend to get eyeballs, when they’d be better filming an existing company in front of an audience.

    However, I’m a harsh critic. Yesterday afternoon we listened to our daughter’s Easter service via Facebook. I didn’t say these things out loud, but in my mind I was thinking that our son is out of practice on trumpet and French horn, and our daughter’s guitar needs new and better strings. That’s from their mother!!!

    Back to using the china now: your kids don’t want it. They aren’t into possessions, they don’t have much space, and they barely cook anyway. And if it can’t go into the dishwasher? Forget about it.

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  39. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    I have Amazon Prime, I’m not always that keen on Amazon, they’ve done some things I’m not crazy about, but those all seem to be somewhat in the past. When I’m in NM I can’t always find what I’m looking for locally, so it’s helpful to be able to order it online. I went out of my way to order some stuff from Amazon this weekend because of Trump’s disgusting tweets, even though I’m in Chicago. These were things I was probably going to order eventually anyway but I thought maybe they could use some timely support. I know it’s a multi-billion dollar company but Trump makes me furious with his idiotic tweets. I realize his base loves it that he makes me, a liberal, furious… Whatever. He’s such a horrible human being.

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  40. Dorothy said on April 2, 2018 at 2:47 pm

    Sorry Deborah. I thought it was you who said you had not seen Breaking Bad. It was Dave!

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  41. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Horrible human being indeed, Deborah. Over the weekend, I posted on Facebook this article about the Parkland kids calling out the horrible behavior of certain adults, mainly because, in referring to Trump, it contains the phrase “possesses no identifiable human virtues.” I absolutely love this phrase. It is the most accurate and concise description of Trump that I have heard. Must remember to send a note to compliment the writer.

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  42. Mark P said on April 2, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I heard an author on Sirius talking about his new book on poor workers in Britain. He worked under cover at an Amazon warehouse — excuse me — fulfillment center. Nine month contracts, if you get sick six days you’re fired and you can’t do your job without actually running, plus 1984ish slogans on the walls. It makes me not want to buy through Amazon.

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  43. Dorothy said on April 2, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Jolene we loved The Chi!

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  44. Bitter Scribe said on April 2, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    The last two things I bought an Amazon were a George Foreman grill that stopped working after two months, and a pair of slippers that fell apart in two weeks.

    My sister says Amazon is loaded with counterfeit Chinese crap. She’s something of a conspiracy nut, but I wonder if she isn’t on to something there.

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  45. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 2, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Jakash – The light at the end reminded me of the conclusion of Redford’s “All is lost.”

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  46. Suzanne said on April 2, 2018 at 3:32 pm

    On top of how awful I’ve read it is to work in the Amazon warehouses, I don’t buy from them all that often because I’ve had bad luck with them. Too often, the wrong thing is being shipped, or it arrives broken, or the packaging is terrible. Sometimes, I’ve had no choice since I can’t find the item elsewhere, but for the most part, I avoid them when I can.

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  47. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I was informed by the building that one of the things I ordered on Saturday from Amazon has arrived but they haven’t brought it up to our unit yet. It’s a kitchen faucet. This week we’re having our garbage disposal removed and the new faucet installed. We decided not to replace our disposal and the building couldn’t be happier, they cause major problems with the building plumbing. They’re removing it for free and installing the new faucet for free too, as a bonus. We will tip the maintenance guys though, they’re great. As I was typing this, it arrived, all is fine, no damage and everything seems to be included that was supposed to there. I wasn’t expecting it to be here today even though they said to expect it, I figured Easter would put it off. Also we decided to delay getting a new sink and kitchen counter until we figure out what we want to do with the rest of the kitchen. It was redone in the late 80s but then nobody lived here for at least 25 years and I don’t think the guy who had owned it had cooked much so it was in OK shape. We decided not to renovate it when we bought the unit until later since it was decent and workable, dated it is for sure but we can live with that for a while. Plus totally renovating the kitchen means you are required to relocate the fuse box for the unit which involves mega $$$$.

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  48. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    I don’t buy a lot of stuff (I’m older; I already have most of what I need and want.) But I hate shopping, so I do order things from Amazon when I do need (or want) stuff. There’ve been a few glitches with stuff not being delivered on time, but it’s not the end of the world. My needs are not emergencies, and the stuff always shows up eventually. To the extent that there are delays, it’s usually for an item that’s being sent by a company that is using Amazon as a marketplace, but doing its own fulfillment.

    Still, despite being a fan, I am glad for workplace exposés and such. They can only help. And I hate the dance that American businesses go through to extract tax concessions and other accommodations from local governments, but Amazon is hardly the only perpetrator of that crime.

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  49. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Suzanne, I’ve not had any problems with damaged goods or shipping the wrong thing from Amazon. The only problem I had once is they sent an item to our Chicago address instead of the Santa Fe address, but it was easy to send back and have them resend to the correct address. It would have been a pain if it was a larger bulkier item, I will admit.

    My main issue with Amazon is the way they treat warehouse workers. That remains a problem from what I can tell. They need to address that.

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  50. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    The NYT reviewer is pretty enthusiastic about JCS, though he shares some of the reservations that you all have expressed.

    Glad to hear you liked The Chi, Dorothy. Another entertainment choice, in addition to Letterman, that we share.

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  51. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 4:19 pm

    Ok, now I’m sorry that I didn’t watch JCS. Is there anyway that I can do that online or ?

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  52. jcburns said on April 2, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Deborah, did you try, maybe, perhaps, the site?

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  53. David C. said on April 2, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I find myself buying fewer things from Amazon, but I use it as a starting place. I get the model numbers of what I’m looking for and at least 2/3 of the time find it for less somewhere else.

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  54. Dexter said on April 2, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    That Sinclair mash-up was revealing. Thanks to you folks for detailing it so well. Katy Tur did a great job on msnbc as well.

    I have a one-track mind right now. In 3 1/2 hours Michigan plays Villanova for the national crown of NCAA men’s basketball. Realistically, Michigan just has no chance, but hope springs eternal in the human breast…and the game must be played out, after all.

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  55. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    No JC, I had no idea which network JCS was even on, thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

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  56. Jeff Borden said on April 2, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Dexter, if you send me $176, I will root for Michigan.

    If Nova wins, I win $175.

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  57. Colleen said on April 2, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Nancy @ 19….a WOWO newscaster once reported that “wild beasts” (wildebeasts) had escaped from the zoo.

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  58. Jakash said on April 2, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Jeff (tmmo) @ 45,

    Sorry, we missed that one. I vaguely remember being aware of it for a while, but it was then whisked away in the hurricane of other viewing options. Just read about it a bit and I see what you mean. And, wow, it’s in the mid-90s on the Tomatometer; I’ll have to keep it in mind for future consideration. But no spoiler alerts for the ending of a fresh 2013 movie? Sheesh! Just kidding! : )

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  59. alex said on April 2, 2018 at 8:55 pm

    Sinclair stations don’t waste time on fluff stories about “wild beasts” escaping from the zoo. They fill it with agitprop. Thank Goddess they haven’t snagged any of the Fort Wayne stations yet, although the local network affiliates are spending plenty of time trying to prove their own right-wing bona fides to the rubes in the Trump era.

    Our affiliates fuck up local pronunciations of towns and stuff because most of the people working there are semiliterate (just look at the copy on their web sites) and likely not from around here, or if they are their heads are up their asses. In general they look like amateur hour compared to bigger markets, but in all fairness the Fox affiliate takes the cake and makes the others look like consummate pros. Most local high school journalism classes could put on a more professional-looking broadcast than the local Fox crew.

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  60. Deborah said on April 2, 2018 at 10:15 pm

    This speaks for itself, if you haven’t already read this, do it shows again what Jolene quoted how Trump “processes no identifiable human virtues”

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  61. Icarus said on April 2, 2018 at 10:31 pm

    Deborah, JCS is on Hulu now if that helps. Otherwise perhaps streams it?

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  62. Jolene said on April 2, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Just watched King in the Wilderness, the show I mentioned @8. Very worthwhile. If you’re not an HBO subscriber, consider looking to see whether you can get a free trial to watch it online. Inexpressibly sad at the end, but perhaps the most intimate picture of him as a man and of the political complexities he faced in his last years that I have seen.

    See Hank’s review linked in my comment @8 for a more eloquent analysis.

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  63. Dexter said on April 3, 2018 at 2:18 am

    The best team won. And to quote Forrest Gump, “…and that’s all I got to say about that.”
    Villanova destroyed Michigan’s men’s basketball team last night.

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  64. Suzanne said on April 3, 2018 at 7:01 am

    I didn’t really care who won the NCAA championship, but I got a bit of pleasure out of the fact that the winners of both the men’s and women’s divisions were Catholic schools. The evangelicals may have Trump, but the Catholics have the basketball power!

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 3, 2018 at 7:42 am

    I was looking up something for my mom and her hometown, Kansas, Illinois, and ran across a 1952 paragraph that reminded me of our small town discussion the other day. In 1888 the village reached a peak (I believe) of 2,000; when she got married to my dad 60 years ago this June, it was about 1,000 and change and today it’s about 750. But back when they were 1,000 strong:

    “The two businesses employing the most people in Kansas today are the two elevators. Other businesses in Kansas consist of a drug store, two restaurants, 9 filling stations and garages, four groceries, a pool room, a cattle loan office, a furniture store, 2 electrical appliance stores, a shoe repair shop, a hardware store, a lumber yard, 2 black smith shops, 2 barber shops, 2 beauty shops, 2 insurance offices, a poultry and cream station, a plumber, a dry goods store, a feed mill, 2 car dealers, a farm implement store and numerous trucking concerns. In addition there is the newspaper, the Bank and a merchant-owned theatre. Professional services are rendered by a Physician, an Osteopath and a Veterinary. The town is deeply indebted to Dr. F. B. Weaver who has devoted his entire professional career to serving our people a period extending over 32 years. He served the village as president for a number of years and was largely responsible for our present water system and our fire protection system.”

    Today there’s one elevator, a gas station with limited hours, a lumber yard that sells some feed, probably three beauty shops, and a funeral home that’s operated out of Paris, the county seat some fifteen miles to the east. There’s a convenience store that takes SNAP cards, and talk of a Family Dollar coming, maybe. The railroad no longer goes through town. The high school my grandfather presided over from its construction in 1936 is now half the size it was when she graduated in 1954, the students twice as poor, but the graduation rate double what it had been even on his retirement in 1968.

    And I have no further useful commentary, other than to muse on what’s left even for the 700 some remaining. Without the passage of Medicare & SSI, it would probably be down closer to 350. Economically, the logic of farming and transport just doesn’t support a population in that location, but history and family and some tracts of land still owned by folk here and there anchor that many still to this crossroads. Neither Kevin Williamson nor Barbara Ehrenreich would see much point to local residents staying put, and as Sherri has said, it’s transfer payments through federal programs keeping a majority of those there . . . and Edgar County, with its $17,500 per capita income for less than 20,000 residents total, went 74% for Donald Trump.

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  66. Deborah said on April 3, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Ha ha ha

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  67. Mark P said on April 3, 2018 at 10:54 am

    Jeff (Tmmo) I have seen towns ( make that “towns”) in Kansas from I-70 that are even worse. Grain towers, a bar and one gas station, plus a large church and schoolhouse, some dusty houses and nothing else. And 50 miles from the nearest Walmart.

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  68. Deborah said on April 3, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Question: do you think the people who made the Easter bunny suit for the White House Easter egg roll put that horrified look on its face on purpose? The photos of it gasping next to Trump are hilarious.

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  69. Suzanne said on April 3, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    Author is from Indiana.
    Or it’s parody, I’m not sure.
    How sad is it that I can no longer tell the difference.

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  70. Sherri said on April 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm

    Another bad thing about Sinclair: they are hiring, while few places are.

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  71. alex said on April 3, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    So Papadopoulos was gettin’ drunk and spillin’:

    The bar’s called Hydrate (f/k/a The Manhole) and it’s in Boyztown for whatever that’s worth these days.

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  72. Deborah said on April 3, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    This was one of the most fascinating podcasts I’ve ever listened to, especially when they talked about Trump, Manafort and that whole crazy shitshow, Jeffery Toobin and Josh Marshall, worth it

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  73. Suzanne said on April 3, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    Just heard on the radio that there is an active shooter at the YouTube HQ in California.

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  74. Jeff Borden said on April 3, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    If you live in a city served by a Tribune Broadcasting property, you will be thrilled at the arrival of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, which gained some additional notoriety recently when it was revealed all of its anchors were required to read a screed against mainstream media outlets written and approved by corporate. If Fox is the Vegas of rightwing media, Sinclair is kind of the Branson, Mo., but once the toadies at the FCC let this thing fly, it will have access to almost three out of every four American households.

    Meet one of the top honchos and gag:

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  75. Deborah said on April 3, 2018 at 6:41 pm

    If this doesn’t make you tear up… I don’t know if you’re human The president sang Amazing Grace.

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  76. susan said on April 3, 2018 at 6:51 pm

    deborah, it’s too bad Obama’s singing “Amazing Grace” wasn’t incorporated into that song. But I suppose that would have really tipped it into a river of sorrow over what we have lost.

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  77. Jolene said on April 3, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Beautiful, Deborah. And, yes, impossible to remain dry-eyed. Thanks for posting it.

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